Monday, July 20, 2015

Monvesian Culture: Pracian Coinage

Humans are not the only race to influence the greater culture of Monvesia.   The concept of money, for instance, is a dwarven creation.  However, money isn't the only form of commerce in Monvesia.

Coinage of Monvesia

The human use of coins was borrowed from the dwarves and gnomes—though humans use fewer types of coins than their dwarven predecessors. For both cultures precious stones (but not semi-precious ones) are also a monetary commodity--particularly for trade..

Coins are not referred to as “gold pieces,” “silver pieces,” etc. Instead, each region uses its own terms for the common coins; some examples are found below.  Game terms (gp, sp, cp) are used to note relative value of coins.
Every coin is approximately the same size: 3 - 5g of mass, and 1 finger (18 – 20 mm) in diameter (about the size of a penny, nickel, or dime). Approximately 100 coins, of any denomination, is equal to a pound in weight. Regardless of actual weight, a [small] belt pouch may hold no more than 200 coins.

Dwarven Coins

Dwarves have the largest variety of coins, using several different alloys to make half-value coins.  These coins are managed by the Keeperate, as commerce is considered a universal cultural tradition independent of any city-state; expert-caste smiths are in particular cities hold warrants from the Keeperate to mint coins.  Outside of Dvergheim, dwarven coins are only valid currency in the Honderreich and the Tsarlands—and, even then, billon coins are rarely used.
Dwarves use a hybrid coin-system that accomodates all editions of D&D.
  • brinjao karibche ("bronze gate"), 1/2 cp
    • Bronze (or  brass) is an alloy of copper and any of a number of lesser metals (tin, nickel, etc.)
  • tsitel ghori ("red/copper boar), 1 cp
  • isperi mushti ("violet/billon fist"), 1/2 sp (or 5 cp)
    • Billon is an alloy of copper and silver 
  • vertskhli artsivi ("silver eagle"), 1 sp
  • tsvane kharis ("green/electrum bull"), 1 ep (1/2 gp or 5 sp)
  • okro gveleshap ("golden dragon"), 1 gp
  • lurj datvi ("blue/rhodite bear"), 5 gp (1/2 pp)
    • Rhodite is an alloy of gold and any of the platinum family of metals
  • platin gvirgvin ("platinum crown"), 1 pp

Honderreicher Coins

While Kleimland, Geirland, and Vaserreich each mint their own coins in copper, silver, and gold; dwarven electrum and rhodite coins are re-struck as well.  Each nation prints their own images on the coins, but all are of relatively the same value.
The Honderreich uses the coins of Basic D&D & AD&D 2nd Edition.
  • penny (plural pence), 1 cp
    • Also the local name for the Imperial Denar in Waschbar & Zyrndy
  • shilling, 1 sp
    • Also the local name for the Imperial Soldo in Waschbar & Zyrndy
  • mark or crown, 1 ep (1/2 gp or 5 sp)
  • guilder, 1 gp
    • Also the local name for the Imperial Libra in Waschbar & Zyrndy
  • sovereign, 5 gp (1/2 pp) [commonly referred to as "platinum"

Tsarish Currency

As in the Honderreich, certain dwarven coins are re-stuck in the Tsardom of Voztok; particularly bronze/brass and electrum pieces. These are supplemental to the standard coins.
The Tsardom uses the coins of AD&D 1st Edition
  • degna, 1/2 cp [dwarven bronze coin]
  • kopeck, 1/2 sp (5 cp) [dwarven billlon coin]
  • poltinnik (plural poltinny), 1 ep (1/2 gp)
  • ruble, 1 gp
  • chervonets (plural chervonetsy), 5 gp (1/2 pp) [commonly referred to as "platinum"]

Cuorrian, Notopolitan, & Veldi Currency

To solidify their economic union, common coins are minted in all the nations of the Empire.  The same standard is also used in Montaigne, Ulvio-Sabbia, which were once part of the Empire.  It is also used in Veldistan; the Imperial and Veldi standards are based on the same, earlier currency.
The Drajan Empire uses a variation on £sd currency
  • quadrans, 1/2 cp [dwarven bronze coin]
  • denar (denari), 2 cp (obol in Notopoli))
  • soldo (soldi), 2.5 sp (drachma in Notopoli; siglo in Veldistan)
  • libra (librae), 5 gp (daric in Veldistan) [dwarven rhodite coin]

The nations of the Lower Granitsa Mountains--Voztokan Volka and Cuorrian Mancare, Vanator, and Tristeren--do not mint their own coins.  These nations accept both Imperial and Tsarish coins equally.  Notopolitan and Honderreicher coins are rare here, but not unknown.

Goliath Currency

The golaith monetary system was established during their exodus--based on a system of doubling has has evolved to become compatible with neighboring currencies.  Only gold and silver coins are used.

  • leah (s), 1 cp
  • shiblum (s), 2.5 cp
  • shiblon (s), 5 cp [dwarven billion coin]
  • senine (g) or senum (s), 1 sp
  • antion (g), 1.5 sp
  • seon (g) or amnor (s), 2.5 sp [roughly equal to an Imperial soldo]
  • shum (g) or ezrom (s), 1 ep
  • limnah (g) or onti (s), 1 gp

Non-Coinage-Based Commerce

Commerce in the Galt Kingdoms and Pridelands

The Galts and rakasta do not regularly use the coinage described above, though they do recognize its value to other nations, and often keep a store of them for trade purposes. These regions continue to use an older barter system—commodities (like cattle, grain or ale) being traded for good or services.  When paying for anything in the Galt Kingdoms or Pridelands with coins, the price is double the item’s value.

Dwarven brass and bronze coins are worthless. These coins are often melted down and hammered into bowls and plates. It is not uncommon to see individual “brass gates” as decorative feature on such cookware.

Elf Commerce

Elves do not typically have a cultural notion of ownership or trade, though elves that travel among other races find such concepts helpful. Among elf “communities,” an elf uses what he or she needs, when he or she needs it; and discards the object or passes it on when they are done. For the majority of elves, only items which can be carried are considered possessions.

Elves who explore beyond Sünnimaa often adopt local monetary traditions.

Gnome Commerce

Gnomes use whatever form of commerce is most convenient at the time, or accepted in the area in which they are currently travelling. They barter freely, and willingly accept coinage as well as precious and semi-precious stones.

Edited July 30, 2015; September 21, 2015; May 2, 2019.

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